Brenda Avila-Hanna is filmmaker and educator from Mexico City who has lived in the CA Central Coast for over a decade. Her work has been showcased at HotDocs, Lakino Berlin, Frameline, HBO, Fusion Network and more. Brenda was part of the inaugural cohort of DOC NYC’s “Documentary Industry New Leaders” and a 2021 Rockwood/Just Films Fellow. She is a member-owner of the film distribution cooperative New Day Films, where she served in the Steering Committee as their first team lead for Equity & Representation from 2019-2021. Brenda is also an active member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, a co-director of the Video Consortium Mexico and has worked as a reviewer for film grants with multiple organizations including the IDA and BAVC. Brenda is a current Research Fellow at UCSC's Film & Digital Media Department, where she also received an MA in Social Documentation in 2013. She recently joined the Watsonville Film Festival team part-time as Artist Development lead for the festival’s Cine Se Puede filmmaking fellowship. Brenda is currently a producer for the ITVS supported film Emergent City (Dir. Kelly Anderson/Jay Sterrenberg). She is also in post-production of her first documentary feature, Libertad, about an indigenous, transgender woman from rural Mexico living in California and transforming communities on both sides of the border as a healthcare expert and advocate.

Films by Brenda Avila-Hanna

Vida Diferida (Life, Deferred)

After the announcement of the policy known as "Deferred Action", Vanessa, an undocumented teenager, contemplates the possibility of a future she was ready to give up on. How will this life-changing opportunity impact her life and the lives of those around her?